Friday, November 18, 2022

In a Golden Light





Hello, Dear Friends, I hope that you are enjoying the sweet 
and simple pleasures of this special time of year...

The soft warmth of a favorite sweater.
A steaming hot mug of your favorite brew
 with a buttery muffin. 
The crunch of leaves underfoot 
 in the brisk, fall air. 

I really do love Autumn.
It's my favorite time of year. 

xx 
 

I love the way the sunshine filters through the misty 
mornings and golden leaves.


It's soft and hazy and somewhat melancholy, 
like a bittersweet song of days gone by. 


Dancing shadows in a golden light.


Time takes on a certain quality this time of year. 
 
Suspended in a magical vortex of brilliant hues and swirling leaves, 
time moves dreamily along. 


We can almost forget the cold, harsh days ahead,
while we dwell in autumn's blissful amnesia. 


Every morning we have this sweet little visitor. 

A young Douglas squirrel who enjoys the 
wingnuts blown onto the deck from the nearby 
big-leaf maple. 


I watch him from the warmth of my living room, as I drink my morning coffee,
 
gathering his breakfast to eat on the playhouse roof. 




The forest awakens to a misty, watercolor world. 



Pretty flowers, still blooming, from my son for my birthday. 

Now that I am officially a 'Golden Girl', I enjoy 
 lazy mornings filled with quiet contemplation and gratitude. 
The busy years of raising children and long hours of endless toil 
are behind me, and now I am free to take this time for myself,
to gather my thoughts and plan my day. 

Of course, there are always obligations in life, 
but I have more options. :)
xx







Morning light illuminates the stained-glass windows as I begin my day. 



And floods my kitchen with gold. 

Kai's bed is here. 
One of them...
He has one in every room. :)


My happy place. 


I added kitschy turkeys to celebrate Thanksgiving. 


 

We are going to my son's house for our family Thanksgiving. 
I am bringing the apple pie. 
xx



Sunbeams sneak in on low, slanted rays reaching all the way to 
the far end of the living room as I grab my flannel 
and head outside. 



Kai is way ahead of me as I check the bird bath 
and hummingbird feeders. 


The hummingbirds are almost tame. 
This is an Annas hummingbird. They are year-round
residents here in western Washington state. 
We have relatively mild winters, although we do 
get the occasional fierce snow-storm. On those 
occasions I take the feeders in overnight to keep them from 
 freezing, and wake up before dawn to put them back out. 

One of those 'life obligations' that I willingly do
to have the privilege of sharing my world with 
these amazing little creatures. 

 

In a sea of green, my Japanese maple is the star of 
the season. 



Today I will plant spring bulbs in a big, galvanized tub. 
The Mr. drilled drainage holes for me and put a 
base of gravel in the bottom. 
Daffodils, blue allium, and crocus.
I use cactus mix potting soil along with 
regular potting soil to provide good drainage 
in our very wet winters. 
 
These give me something to look forward to this spring. 


The strange, purple hue of beauty berry
peeping out from under the big cedar tree. 


My wild evergreen side garden. 

The tall shrubs were once tiny Cypress 'Christmas trees' 
in 10 inch pots. They are now 15 feet tall! 

My bench holds potted herbs.
Sage, rosemary and thyme. 
xx
 
"Are you going to Scarborough Fair? 
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. 
Remember me to one who lives there. 
She once was the true love of mine."

- Simon and Garfunkel -


Today is a good day to harvest my tansy 
from my wildflower gardens. 


Tansy is a pungent scented herb that I use
in moth-repellent sachets.

I have a good harvest. 
You can see my blue shoe to use as comparison.  


I strip the leaves from the stems. 
I always wear gloves as the plant can irritate 
bare hands. 


I save the dried seedheads to plant in the gardens. 
Tansy is a long-lived and hardy perennial, 
but it is rather tall and rangy. 
The yellow, button flowers are pretty, though, 
and can be dried for arrangements and wreaths. 


I ended up with two big baskets and a bucket of seed-heads. 

I will dry the leaves in the baskets 
in a dark, warm room - turning the piles 
twice a day until they are dry. 

Then I will further strip the fronds off their stems 
and store them in an airtight plastic tub
until I'm ready to make some sachets. 



After lunch, Ramblin' Man and I take a little walk. 
Kai leads the way. 





It's been a beautiful, dry week with mild temperatures,
and I've been able to catch up on my outside chores. 
I've filled wheelbarrows and tarps with 
overgrown brambles, dead flowers stalks and weeds.
Everything is almost done. 
Ha-ha, everyone knows what a joke that is! 
I haven't even begun to rake the leaves!  


Time to go inside - the days are short 
and I need something hot in my favorite mug.

Thank you for spending this beautiful, golden day 
with me! 
Before I say goodbye, Dear Friends, 
I'll share a few scenes of the countryside 
on a recent drive.  
















"How beautiful the leaves grow old. How full of light 
and color are their last days. 
- John Burroughs -



Friday, October 28, 2022

Autumn

 


Hello, Dear Friends! 

It's been a while, I know. 

I've missed you and I hope you have missed me, too. 

I didn't plan on being away so long. It just sort of happened. 

Life carried me along and I went with it. 

xx

It was incredibly hot and dry this summer. 

We had less than an inch of rain from July to the middle of October. 

Two weeks ago, it was 88 degrees.

Now it is finally raining and much, much cooler.  

I spent the whole summer hauling 100 ft. hoses around, 

desperately trying to save all of my precious plantings. 

Our water is from a well, so I had to be very strategic and careful, 

watering one section a day. 

I am happy to report that I did manage to save everything within 

the 1 acre of plantings that I nurture, but the extended property 

of native forest, did suffer. 

I kept low buckets of water on the ground for rabbits, deer and squirrels, 

trays of water for frogs and snakes and other little creatures, 

and bird baths for the sweet, feathered friends. 

I even had a butterfly watering dish that was used by many 

different insects, especially the wasps and bees. 

All Creatures Great and Small...

xx

This kept me very busy.


These beautiful rays of light over the house are somewhat deceiving. 

They were actually illuminating the wildfire smoke that had filled our skies 

 here in western Washington State the last few weeks. 

At one point the air quality in Seattle was the worst in the world! 

It wasn't as bad here, 50 miles south, but we could definitely see and smell it.

We've since had some much-needed wind and rain that is 

damping down the fires and clearing out the smoke.  


We celebrated our 50th anniversary 
last month! 

We've been reminiscing through the years, 
and counting our many blessings.
We married young, worked hard, raised a family, followed our dreams, 
and kept true to our vows. 
Fifty years later, we are still going strong.  

From left to right, Son Gabe and wife Erica, Son-in-law Steve and daughter Jennifer, Ramblin' Man and me, Son Dustin and wife Jen, Son-in-law Eric and daughter Heather. 
The loves of my life.
(Along with our five precious grandsons) 
xx

Our four children and spouses took us out to a fabulous dinner. 


It was beyond wonderful. 

xx




We also hosted a 40th birthday party for our son, Dustin. 
We celebrated our eldest son, Gabe and son-in-law, Eric's 
birthdays at the same time, as their birthdays are all close together. 


A cozy and cool seating area on the deck.
It was a very hot day.


Daughter Heather is the charcuterie Queen! 
We had barbeque shish-kabobs, pasta salad, green salad, beans
and of course, cupcakes! 
I baked apple pies and coffee cake as gifts for the guys. 
I asked them what they wanted and that's what they requested! 


The birthday guys.

In other news...

Ramblin' Man finished the play-fort for the Grand-boys...


With a little help from son, Dustin. 
xx


Good job, guys! 


Hand-made door. 
xx


I helped paint. 


We can see it from the deck. 

Next year, I want to plant mini-pumpkins and gourds

in the barrels. 


Ramblin' Man has been very busy this year. 

He rebuilt the front corner of the old tool shed

from the ground up (dry rot) and rebuilt and painted the door. 

He replaced weak boards and the stairs on the deck, 

and then repainted the whole deck.

And these were just the main projects. 

He is busy every day. 

Although he is retired, he is still a work-a-holic. 

He genuinely enjoys it, I am happy to report.  

Nobody tells him what to do. 

Except me... and sometimes he actually listens! 

xx


I redecorated the home-front for the season. 


I always start with the 'Kitchen Queen' Hoover cabinet. 

I sewed a new 'skirt' to hide the cubby that holds my extra coffee cups. 
The basket on top was my Mom's, filled with bittersweet. 
My Dad made the crow whirly-gig.
Hard to believe they've been gone over 10 years now. 
xx 


I don't have an official autumn dish set, 
but I have collected a few serving pieces
to use with my basic white dishes. 
The pretty blue bowls were a gift from daughter, Heather. 


Sweet little snack plates. 


I copied this idea to fill a bell-jar with tiny pumpkins 
from a magazine. 


It's not as easy as you think! It took me a few times 
to get it right. 
The bead garland and wooden acorns were found at a pumpkin farm gift shop. 
(A wonderful day spent with our little grandsons.)
The candle was a gift from daughter, Jennie. 


Vintage fall napkins - another sweet gift. 

My two daughters took me out for brunch and a day
of shopping for my recent birthday. 
Everything I tried to buy, they grabbed out of my hands 
and paid for! 
xx


Here we are in the parking lot before saying goodbye. 
It was a beautiful, golden day filled with love and laughter. 
We had to hide behind a tree to keep 
away the sun's glare. 


My egg carton wreath. 
xx


The pantry corner. 


Sweet tea towel - a gift from my Sis-in-law. 





I changed the curtains to reflect the season.  
It looks so pretty when the sun shines through. 


The daybed gets an update, too, with warm, fall colors. 
The wooden bowl holds checkers. 
xx
I found the game table at pottery barn years ago. 


A precious, vintage needlework hangs above. 
Can you see the blue bird in the apple tree?
 


My old hutch opposite the daybed.
The door never stays shut.
xx 





These are vintage, ink and watercolor prints 
from the 1950's that I found in a thrift shop. 


My Grandson's charming, fall painting. 


A favorite corner. 


I made the strawflower wreath years ago from flowers that I grew. 


The dough bowl on the mantel, is filled with fall gatherings and spools of twine.
Another gift from my daughter. 
She knows what I love.
xx 


Hand-carved bookends I found this year at the flea market
hold my vintage bible. 


Ramblin' Man's hand-forged railroad spikes. 
He likes to collect old tools and wooden boxes. 


The bell-jar was a gift from son Dustin and wife, Jen. 
I fashioned the scene inside from a craft store bird. 

The old mortar and pestle is from my childhood in New England. 
My Mom and Dad loved to take us for Sunday drives and stop 
to explore abandoned farms for sale. 
I found this tucked over the inside doorway of an upstairs closet
in an empty, old farmhouse.
I also found an old basket filled with crochet hooks and yarn, 
which prompted me to learn how to crochet. 
Those Sunday drives are sweet, sweet memories 
of days gone by. 


We are ready for some cozy fires! 
 



I had fun decorating the little playhouse on the deck. 



All of the pumpkins and cornstalks were grown by my 
little grandsons in their family garden. 



I sewed curtains from a large stash of fabric that my Mom 
 had given me in her later years. 
She loved to craft dolls and other sweet things. 
She had a thriving business selling 
her and my Dad's wonderful creations
through local shops, but when my Dad 
was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, she had 
to give that up. 
Those were difficult years for her and the whole family. 

 




The old playhouse from when my children were young.
We used it as a dog kennel for years, after they all grew up. 
But the dogs are long gone and   
it is slowly sinking into the ground. Eventually 
we will have to take it down, but for now, 
I like to see it out my kitchen window. 


Backgammon, anyone?



I promise not to stay away so long, Dear Friends. 

xx









"Make one person happy each day and in 
forty years you will have made 14,600 human 
beings happy for a little time, at least. 

- Charley Willey, writer -

xx

"To be kind to all, to like many and love a few,
to be needed and wanted by those we love, is
certainly the nearest we can come to happiness."

- Mary Roberts Rinehart, writer -


xx







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